Jake Bauers chances of making the Reds roster increased after blockbuster trade

Seattle Mariners outfielder Jake Bauers (5) reacts after a hit.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Jake Bauers (5) reacts after a hit. / Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Cincinnati Reds sent third baseman Eugenio Suárez and outfielder Jesse Winker to the Seattle Mariners in a blockbuster trade. With what appears to be a vacancy in left field, Jake Bauers chances of making the team have greatly increased.

Bauers signed a minor-league deal with the Reds prior to the MLB lockout and has a great deal of big league experience. A longtime member of the Cleveland Indians, now Guardians, Bauers was traded to the Mariners last season for a player to be named later.

Jake Bauers chances of making the Reds roster have increased.

Jake Bauers is a former seventh-round pick of the San Diego Padres. A year after debuting in the Padres' organization, Bauers was shipped to the Tampa Bay Rays. Bauers made his big league debut at 22 years of age in 2018 and appeared in 96 games for the Rays that season while posting an OPS of .700.

Bauers was eventually dealt to Cleveland prior to the 2019 season and had a mediocre campaign with the Tribe, hitting .226/.312/.371 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs. Cleveland said goodbye to Bauers last season. After designating Bauers for assignment, the M's swooped in a snagged the struggling slugger. Bauers finished the season with a collective OPS of just .566.

Those numbers don't inspire much confidence, and Bauers is a better first baseman than he is an outfielder. However, with Joey Votto cemented at first base (for now), Bauers best chance of making the club will come as an outfielder.

Jake Bauers' career has always been more about potential than production. Formerly a top 5 prospect in the Rays' organization, Bauers never realized his potential despite consistently posting an OPS in the upper .700's while in both Tampa Bay's and Cleveland's farm system.

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Bauers will have to show off his skills during spring training, as the competition for the outfield spots will be fierce. But, with Eugenio Suárez being part of Monday's trade as well, Mike Moustakas may return to third base, opening the possibility for Jake Bauers to be the Reds' part-time DH as well.